Patriots ride grand slam to 8-3 victory

BYU's team watched a 3-1 lead evaporate in an 8-3 loss Monday at Dallas Baptist University. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

DALLAS — A wind-aided grand slam by Nash Knight knocked the wind out of BYU’s baseball team as host Dallas Baptist University won 8-3 on Monday afternoon.

Third baseman Knight’s two-out slam to right-center field broke a 3-3 deadlock as three Cougar pitchers hurled to no avail in that sixth inning.

“It’s like we are swimming upstream,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “We have to work out of it. We really competed today. (Brandon) Kinser gave us a quality start.”

The Cougars (7-11) battled through several misfortunes against the Patriots (12-4). Brandon Kinser got last-minute start after lefty Hayden Rogers suffered a concussion when he was hit in the face in a freak injury by a batted ball as he was warming up in the bull pen during the pregame.

Trevin Sonnier was thrown out by Bronson Larsen trying to steal second to end the second inning. After giving up a two-out double in the third, Kinser got an inning-ending fly-out to Eric Urry in left field.

Trailing 1-0, BYU got things going in the fifth inning when Hayden Nielsen and Brennon Lund both singled. Parker Starr lined a two-out single to right field to score Nielsen. The Cougars took a 2-1 lead when Urry bunted down the third base side and Lund dashed home with no play available.

BYU expanded that lead to 3-1 in the sixth on consecutive Patriot errors when CJ Latham beat out a throw at first base, stole second on a high throw and advanced to third. Trace Hansen’s sacrifice fly scored Latham.

Three consecutive Patriot singles led to a three-all score in the sixth inning. With bases loaded, DBU scored one of those runs from a walk. Then BYU threw a runner out at home for the second out. It was looking better for BYU until a foul popup was dropped, setting up Knight’s grand slam.

The Cougars begin league play Thursday at 6 p.m. against defending West Coast Conference champion San Diego (11-4) at Larry H. Miller Field.

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